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2021 AGM: HPF reaches major milestones

The hard work, resilience, and commitment of HPF staff, especially during what has been a year of challenge and change, was acknowledged at HPF’s virtual Annual General Meeting this week.

Board Chair, Mark Simiona

Board Chairman, Mark Simiona (Otara Health Charitable Trust) said he was continuously impressed with how HPF had adapted to delivering their services online, ensuring safety of staff by adjusting quickly to work remotely from home ensuring business continuity, care, and safety of all involved.

Mr Simiona said as shown in the auditor’s report, HPF was in a very strong and healthy financial position and continued its true commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi and building leadership and relationships both nationally and internationally.

Mr Simiona said the management team led by Sione enabled HPF to adapt well to working in the Covid environment.

“During the April 2020 lockdown HPF pivoted to deliver online workshops and training sessions and supported staff to work remotely from home. Since then, online sessions are now part of the new normal way of working. The Certificate of Achievement in Introductory Health Promotion is now being taught online as are their workshops. Participants are adapting well to online teaching and learning, and their numbers have doubled as a result.”

In his annual report to the meeting HPF’s Executive Director Sione Tu’itahi shared about some major milestones attained by HPF.

“With the approval of the International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE), HPF is now working on establishing itself as the national accreditation organisation (NAO) for health promotion in Aotearoa New Zealand,” said Mr Tu’itahi.

He said the new service would assess and formally acknowledge health promoters who registered – for their professional integrity and ongoing development, while the wellbeing and safety of the community was ensured.

“Meanwhile, under the same system, educational institutions that teach health promotion at degree level will be given a similar recognition by IUHPE itself, if they wish to join this accreditation process. 

Sione Tu’itahi and Professor Tony Capon are on the Global Working Group on Waiora Planetary Health and Human Wellbeing

“Of extra significance, is that IUHPE has accepted Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the socio-political and cultural contexts of our country, as unique components for our own framework in New Zealand. In two to three years’ time, we should have this NAO in operation.”

Second said Mr Tu’itahi was through the Global Working Group (GWG) on Waiora PlanetaryHealth and Human Wellbeing that HPF co-established under IUHPE last year, we now have planetary health and indigenous knowledge, as one of the strategic focuses of IUHPE in its next five-year strategy.

“Incorporating planetary health, and indigenous knowledge, into the work of IUHPE, was one of the strategic goals of hosting the 2019 IUHPE World Conference on Health Promotion in Rotorua,” he explained. “The GWG advances and implements the purpose of the two Legacy Statements from the conference, within IUHPE and outside IUHPE.”

And third, was that through the GWG, in April this year, HPF participated in a world conference of the Planetary Health Alliance, the biggest network for organisations and professionals who work in the space of planetary health and sustainable development, last April.

“The Sao Paulo Declaration was one of the outcomes of the conference. HPF, the GWG and IUHPE are signatories of the declaration which acknowledges science, indigenous knowledge and spirituality as bodies of knowledge for the world in its effort to address our current socio-economic and environmental crisis – including Covid-19,” added Mr Tu’itahi.

“These milestones are a solid foundation for HPF to continue to lead the ongoing development of health promotion at the national and international levels, and to consider a new phase of its evolving growth, for the wellbeing of the nation and the betterment of the world.”

On behalf of the HPF operational team, Mr Tu’itahi thanked HPF’s Chair Mark Simiona, and all other members of the Board, and our Kaumatua Richard Wallace, for their leadership, guidance, and support.

He also acknowledged with gratitude HPF’s primary funder, the Ministry of Health. “Our sincere appreciation also goes out to our partners and collaborators at national and international levels, including our valued members of HPF.

The HPF team after a successful AGM. (Absent is Leanne Eruera)

“Finally, without our operations team members, we would not have achieved what we have achieved. So, to each and every member of our small but agile and dedicated team, thank you so much. Through our working together, doing the right things for the right purpose and with the right spirit and motive, the right outcomes have manifested, and big milestones have been achieved for the health and wellbeing of our workforce, and our community.”